My name is Rhodora Damaso Diaz. I am a pediatrician practising in a city with four medical schools (I teach in two) and eleven hospitals, three of which have CT scanners and heart centers as well as MRI scanners. Two have radiotherapy centers, with another smaller hospital also into radiotherapy. All the hospitals are mandated by law to have women-and-children protection units. (This is just to say that we have technology going for us, but it couldn't be used for some of our children's problems)
My interests had initially been neonatology and infectious disease, but teaching Growth and Development for many years has made me acutely aware of children's behavior and the many aspects of family life that modify it.
Although I have concentrated on the medical ills of my patients and the prevention of disease by immunization and anticipatory guidance, I found that many times I can help parents with the practicalities of their own lives as well without interfering in their personal decisions about how their children should be raised.
My patients and their parents have been a source of inspiration and sometimes exasperation but not much more so than the rest of the world.
Some of the children have troubled me, their parents, caretakers and teachers with unusual behavior which responded very little to well-meaning suggestions from me or even from guidance counselors, psychiatrists and grandparents.
Because I needed to help these children, I would often spend more time with their parents or caretakers in order to get to the reason for the behavior. I would suggest more attention from adults, or less censure, or more hugging. Perhaps verbalization was deficient, so I would have them reassure the child more often.
Sometimes the wound was deep -- the child may have been abandoned by her mother, or there was major conflict between families during the pregnancy. In these cases, I would have the parents or caretakers review the circumstances surrounding birth or early infancy, accept that they themselves may have been scarred, and then think about how they may make it up to the child.
Many times, the child behaved better, or became more open, or loving. There were times, however, when we were unable to solve the constant crying of a baby at night after the post-colic months, or an unexplained phobia, or even the refusal to suck or eat unless the child was asleep.
Desperation or inspiration -- this is how it started...........